TODAY’S READING: 2 SAMUEL 4-7
“And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, also carpenters and masons who built David a house.” – 2 Samuel 5:11
“Now when the king lived in his house and the Lord had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, the king said to Nathan the prophet, ‘See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.'” – 2 Samuel 7:1-2
“Thus says the Lord: Would you build me a house to dwell in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent for my dwelling.” – 2 Samuel 7:5-7
“For you, O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have made this revelation to your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house.'” 2 Samuel 7:27
These are the passages of scripture that the Holy Spirit brought to me attention this morning.
Hiram builds a house for David.
David lives in the house that Hiram built for him. Then David decides to build a house for God.
God says he has never lived in a house. He has always been moving about in a tent.
God tells David, “I will build you a house.”
HIRAM KING OF TYRE
Today’s reading is the first time Hiram the king of Tyre is mentioned in scripture. But, the most extensive treatment of the king of Tyre is found in Ezekiel 27 and 28, which are a lamentation over Tyre and a prophecy concerning the king, respectively.
Tyre was a city whose wealth came from trading. The people of Tyre were merchants of the seas. Tyre’s borders, where it situated itself, were in the heart of the seas. The city was filled and weighed down with the heart of the seas.
Ezekiel 27:3-4 says, “O Tyre, you have said, ‘I am perfect in beauty.’ Your borders are in the heart of the seas; your builders made perfect your beauty.”
Ezekiel 27:25 says, “So you were filled and heavily laden in the heart of the seas.”
The seas are symbolic of death. They are the realm of the great dragon (Isaiah 27:1 and Ezekiel 32:2). Therefore, the seas are viewed as the realm of Satan. This understanding sheds insights into the prophecy in Ezekiel 28.
The prophecy in Ezekiel 28 is for the king of Tyre. But, it is apparent that this prophecy goes beyond just the man who was the king of Tyre. For, the prophecy speaks of the king of Tyre in the garden of Eden. This links the king of Tyre with ruler of this world, Satan.
The name Hiram means brother of the lofty one. Hiram is a brother to, of the same family, as Satan. Satan exalted himself (Isaiah 14:12-14). He is the source of pride. In Ezekiel 28, we see the king of Tyre is very proud, making his heart like the heart of a god.
Tyre means rock. Hiram was the king of rock. But, while this is the same Hebrew word used to refer to Christ as the rock, Hiram was king of a different rock. Speaking of the enemies of Israel, Moses says in Deuteronomy 32:31, “For their rock is not as our Rock.”
Hiram king of Tyre is a picture of man building the kingdom of this world and not the kingdom of God.
HIRAM BUILDS A HOUSE OF CEDAR FOR DAVID
Hiram built a house of cedar for David to dwell in.
Wood symbolizes the nature of man. Cedar trees provide some interesting insight into this.
Job 40:17 says that Behemoth, the great land monster, “makes his tail stiff like cedar.” Cedar is stiff, lacking flexibility, as is the nature of man.
Isaiah 2:12-13 says, “For the Lord of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up – and it shall be brought low; against all the cedars of Lebanon, lofty and lifted up; against all the oaks of Bashan.” Cedars picture the pride of man. Verse 17 says, “And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low.”
In order to build with cedar trees, they must be cut down, cut off from their root. The root is the supply of water that brings life to the tree. Therefore, to build with cedar trees is to build with a material that is dry and dead.
This shows that man, in his own strength, builds a dry, dead house for Jesus to dwell in. Building a house of cedar is a work of man’s own hands, part of the kingdom of this world. But, we believe it is for the Lord as we are building it for him to dwell in.
DAVID WANTS TO BUILD A HOUSE OF CEDAR FOR THE LORD
David is frequently a type of Jesus. But, not everything that David does pictures Jesus and what he did. Therefore, I believe that David wanting to build a house of cedar for the Lord is actually a picture of us in our role as ruling with Jesus wanting to build permanent structures to house our faith. We bring the way we built while we were in the world with us as we attempt to fulfill our calling to reign with Christ.
But, when we want to build a house of cedar, we are attempting to create something fixed and permanent. These permanent structures cannot change and they cannot grow. These permanent structures picture our relationship with God – dry, dead, incapable of growing.
But, God never asked for a house of cedar. He was moving about in a tent.
But, when Jesus was on trial, some testified, “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will another, not made with hands.'” (Mark 14:58)
In Acts 7:47-48, Stephen said, “It was Solomon who built a house for him. Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands.”
In Acts 17:24, Paul says, “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man.”
Hebrews 9:24 says that the true holy places are not made with hands.
GOD BUILDS A HOUSE WITH DIFFERENT MATERIALS
We’ve seen that man wanted to build a house with cedar, a material that was dry and dead. And, this is the type of material – dry – that man always builds with.
In Genesis 11:3, man wanted to construct his tower to the heavens with bricks made from the earth that needed to be burned, or dried, thoroughly to be used as a building material.
And, in Exodus 1 and 5, when Israel was in bondage to Egypt, they built for Pharaoh with bricks that included straw and needed to be dried.
Bricks are made by men and are dry or dead. This is how man attempts to reach up to God.
But, God builds with a material. Instead of brick, God builds with stone, a material that man cannot make. However, God doesn’t use dry stone. No, God uses living stones, stones that become wet with the Holy Spirit.
I WILL BUILD YOU A HOUSE
David, as the servant of the Lord, comes to realize that God is going to build him a house that will continue forever before God. This reveals that Jesus knew just what God was going to build and how he was going to build it.
We could read David’s revelation, “I will build you a house,” as God saying he would build a house for Jesus. But, I believe it can also be read to say, “I will build YOU a house.” In other words, God is literally building Jesus into a house.
Isn’t this sort of what we see happening in the New Testament?
Jesus makes us living stones. We are his body. As his body, we are growing into a temple, a house for God.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:1 that “we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
What is this house not made with hands that is eternal in the heavens?
Hebrews 10:5 says, “Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me.'”
While we wait for the return of Jesus, we are being built into his body, the house not made with hands, right now.
Ephesians 2:19-22 says, “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”
“Do you know know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you?” (1 Corinthians 6:19)
So, we do not build houses or temples for God. Jesus showed us that has ended. He destroyed the temple in Jerusalem, symbolically destroying all the temples – inflexible religious strongholds – that mankind builds.
But, Jesus built another temple. He’s building a temple with our bodies. There’s nothing we can do to build this temple. We cannot cause it to grow and come together. We must let God build it.